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24 January, 2006

Forth Hings

I found the following questionnaire via Siobhan, whose disdain for memes is only exceeded by the comprehensiveness of her responses. ;)
Personally, I like meme questionnaires.  They can focus the mind on topics one mightn't otherwise think of addressing, and occasionally reveal more that might actually interest people than one's usual self-absorbed rants*.

Four jobs Iíve had in my life

  • Agricultural labourer.
    My first paid employment, aged 14. My mother returned from the local farm shop one day and told me I had a job. I was livid – even at that age I felt it should have been my decision. I was paid £1.40 per day to spend weekends in a cold, muddy field, picking potatoes, and my mother took a slice of my wages 'for my upkeep'. I suppose she was trying to instill something in me. Other than resentment, I mean.
  • Horticultural labourer.
    Over the summer between GCSEs and 'A' Levels, I worked at a horticultural college, harvesting tomatoes and cucumbers, potting pelargonia and sweating whilst steam-sterilising soil in a glasshouse in direct July sunlight. Actually, I enjoyed it; easy, but moderately interesting.
  • Service station attendant.
    My mother decided I should be working whilst at sixth form, so, like the potato picking, announced she'd found me a job at the local garage. It wasn't too bad, and I could read whilst there were no customers, but the smell of diesel still turns my stomach and yes, I still hold a grudge against my mother.
  • Warehouse worker.
    Between 'A' Levels and university, and each summer vacation whilst at university, I worked for the purchasing consortium which supplied Clwyd, Wirral and Manx council premises (and a few in Lancashire) with consumables: everything from pens to toilet rolls. I was a picker most years, taking trolleys into a huge warehouse to collect everything a particular school had ordered, then transferring the goods to freight cages for collection by lorries. Some orders were quite intricate, and recipients loved to complain about errors, so it wasn't exactly a mindless job. A 'highlight' of my first summer there was moving the entire premises several miles to a new warehouse, whilst keeping orders flowing. It was... educational, and a life experience I wouldn't wish to have missed.
Four movies I can watch over and over

Not easy, merely because I don't really watch films repeatedly. Once is usually enough, twice if I'm particularly impressed, three times for favourites. Four times would be exceptional. The idea of some obsessive watching 'Star Wars' more than a hundred times slightly unsettles me. Incidentally, I feel the same way about books: there aren't any to which I return regularly.
If we're talking about viewings over several years, I suppose I'd watch:

Four places I have lived
  • North-East Wales, UK – for eighteen of my first nineteen years
  • Stavanger, Norway – my father's home city, and mine too for that year not spent in NE Wales!
    Apart from that full year, I've also spent holidays there since the 1970s, 2-3 weeks at a time.
  • Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, UK – whilst at University.
    I did regard it as living in Aber; I'd certainly emotionally 'left home' (i.e. my mother's) by then.
  • Lancaster, UK – now!

Four TV shows I love to watch
  • 'ER'.
  • 'Lost'.
They're the only series I'd make a point of watching, apart from one-off programmes. I'm not especially a TV person.

Four places I have been on vacation

Within the past 15 months:

  • Barcelona, Catalunya (Spain).
  • New York City, USA.
  • Prague, Czech Republic.
  • Warszawa, Poland.
Four of my favourite dishes
  • Garlic giant prawns. Most seafood, really.
  • Pancakes, with sugar and lemon.
  • Chicken karahi.
  • Roast beef & Yorkshire pudding.
Four websites I visit dailyI tend to keep other regulars to weekdays-only; I spend too much time online during the week (for work, obviously!), so tend not to use the internet that much at home.

Four places I would rather be right now

  • Hebnes, Norway – I haven't seen my father for a long time.
  • Truro, Cornwall, UK – I'd quite like to visit that picturesque part of the UK whilst my sister is living there, but it's such a long way from Lancaster when one doesn't have a car.
  • Warszawa, Poland – I have mixed feelings about the city (though I was more impressed by the 'touristy' stuff I saw in October than the 'everyday life' stuff I'd seen on previous occasions), but, well, Helen lives there.
  • Reykjavik, Iceland – I simply want to visit Iceland!
*: Er, perhaps I ought to have written that in the first person – I was talking about my self-absorbed ranting, not accusing Siobhan of doing so!

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